Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series racer and V8 Supercar team owner Paul Morris has laid down the challenge to his rivals for next weekend's Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway: 'Beat me and test my car'.
Having retired from full-time V8 Supercar racing at the end of 2008, Morris will contest the Fujitsu Series' second round at Queensland Raceway – with a test in one of his Championship Series VE Commodores up for grabs for anyone who beats him.
“I've only got to drag the car up the road from the workshop, so I'm going to head out for a drive,” Morris said, who raced in the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series opener at Abu Dhabi, filling in for Castrol Edge Racing's Greg Murphy.
“There are a lot of good young guys in the Fujitsu Series; this is a chance for them to really prove themselves. I'll be out there as a benchmark; if they can beat me, I'll give them a test in one of my cars.
“We'll be able to see who's out there, it should give them all some extra motivation for the weekend.”
An endurance seat could also be up for grabs with Paul Morris Motorsports, which fields VE Commodores for both Murphy and Supercheap Auto Racing driver Russell Ingall.
Morris raced in last year's L&H 500 at Phillip Island and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and is set to again contest the two endurance races this year. Yvan Muller, who was last night announced as one of 18 international drivers for the ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600, will also likely join the Queensland-based squad for the Bathurst and Phillip Island events, pending the Frenchman's World Touring Car commitments.
“We'll give them a test and see what they're like,” Morris said. “If they make the grade as a possible endurance driver, they'll be in with a shot.
“Greg got a call-up for the enduros and won his first race, and Russell too - he won Bathurst with Larry Perkins before he was a full-time driver. The next Murph or Ingall could be out there next weekend in the Fujitsu Series.”
After winning both Fujitsu Series races at the opening round at Clipsal 500 Adelaide, Steve Owen leads the standings on 300 points, ahead of James Moffat and rookies Ant Pedersen, Tim Blanchard and Nick Percat.
No less than 21 Fujitsu Series are expected to make the grid at the Ipswich 300 at Queensland Raceway (April 30-May 2).